The topic of abuse, mainly domestic, has been at the center of sports for years now. Whether it’s Ray Rice and the NFL’s mishandling of the notoriously violent elevator video or Jose Reyes pushing his wife through a glass door, it’s affected every league.
Now it has finally made its way to the Kansas City Royals, and unfortunately Dayton Moore has already put them on the wrong side of the debate. The Royals organization is now a part of a conversation that shouldn’t even be a consideration to behind with.
Luke Heimlich, a top pitcher from Oregon State, was convicted of a felony charge of molesting his 6-year-old niece when he was 15. On Sunday, Dayton Moore, the General Manager of the Kansas City Royals told reporters that the Royals were exploring signing Heimlich. He continued on to say the organization believes in giving 2nd or 3rd chance.
Second and third chances are for players like Jorge Bonifacio who is finishing up an 80 game suspension for PEDs.
Second chances for abusers have no place on a national stage where players are role models, especially role models for young children. How can we as a society propel up men who have not respected women, and yet expect women to be fans? How can we teach young boys not to do the same when star athletes aren’t held to a moral standard?
I struggle with this because I am a proud feminist who loves sports. I thought baseball was ahead of the curve, proactively putting into place a domestic violence policy. And yet, men and money rule the league.
I recently had a conversation with my mom about the NFL’s treatment of their cheerleaders. She told me she would not be watching football this year and I had a hard time agreeing with her. Not every player, staff member, etc in the NFL was apart of it and how can I not still support my team. But she was right, change needs to start somewhere and it has to start with the fans putting their foot down.
So I will not be watching the Royals (which pains me) until Dayton Moore apologizes. And if the Royals sign Heimlich then I’ve lost faith in baseball and the family experience it stands for.
Is winning more important that what’s right and wrong? Is winning more important than being able to look your daughter in her face and saying what happens to girls and women doesn’t matter as much as a game?